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Valerie [userpic]

New Blog!

September 19th, 2007 (11:50 pm)

Ok peeps. I'm moving on from Livejournal. I have a new blog now, which can be found at

http://meanderings-of-the-mind.blogspot.com/

I'll keep this blog up too, of course, but I don't think that I'll be posting to it anymore. 



Valerie [userpic]

Mission: Accomplished

September 17th, 2007 (04:53 pm)
chipper

current location: Brook's Dining Room
current mood: chipper

I don't really feel much like typing now. Valerie=tired out, and I'm in the mood for a nap. :-)  However, I noticed today how incredibly delinquent my posting has been, and felt that I should really update people on my goings-on.

First, Brook and I had a wonderful time in Hawaii. There are STILL unfinished posts that have yet to be added to the blog, so check back periodically to read more about our adventures. I can't believe that it's been a whole month since our travels to the islands. It was such an incredible vacation (oh...and it was so great...hehe...that Brook and I have tickets back for July....but that's a whole other story, best saved for the Hawaii blog itself).

Second, I am teaching! I've just started my second full week with a classroom full of students, and it is both the most exciting and the most terrifying thing I think I have ever done. I don't think there has been a time in my life where I've had to make so many split second decisions and solve so many bizarre problems. That's really part of the appeal, though. I love being on my toes. :-)

Third (and last, for this post), Brook and I have started attending a local church called Jubilee. We've only been two weeks in a row so far, but it's been great. I love how challenging the messages are and how refreshed and motivated I feel after I leave. Whether or not we decide to attend this place regularly is yet to be determined (although I do believe there's a good possibility). In the meantime though, we're going for the next few weeks to listen to a series they are doing on re-prioritizing your life and making time for the things that are important. Ah, how appropriate! I feel like so much of what is said is directed right to me. :-)

Ok, so that's it for now. More later!

 

Valerie [userpic]

Dreams of blue oceans and warm sand....

August 12th, 2007 (10:53 am)
crazy

current location: Brook's Dining Room
current mood: crazy

Brook and I are leaving for Hawaii tomorrow! I am so excited about stepping foot in Honolulu. I haven't been there in ages, but I still remember how warm and sweet the air seemed upon exiting the airplane. We'll be spending 10 days there, 10 wonderful days of backpacking and hiking and a whole host of other wonderful Hawaiian things. :-) 

Brook and I have discussed the possibility of posting a Hawaii vacation blog. If we do, I'll make sure to post the link here. And, if we don't, I'm still going to update as much as I can from the islands, sharing pictures and adventurous stories.

And on that note, I must begin to prepare for our departure. Aloha!

Valerie [userpic]

A Slacker Reformed

August 2nd, 2007 (01:17 pm)
contemplative

current location: Pacific University
current mood: contemplative

Yes, I am the slacker, and as of today, I am totally reformed. This comes at an unfortunate time however, as today was the last day of this set of classes. I realize that I've finally pushed my good luck too far, and it may cost me my grade in my functional curriculum class (which means I might not get an 'A'...yeah, big deal I know, but I wanted to get straight A's though my grad. program). I've thought about it a bit today (as I was crazily trying to type two papers and study for an exam during my hour long lunch hour) and I realized that I went wrong months ago. 

Flashback to June: Classes started up in June, and I jumped in feet first. I spent the first week reading all of the readings, applying myself with utter abandon to my assignments, and otherwise devoting myself to graduate school. Week two, I figured out that grad. school was pretty easy for me. I started doing papers the night before and skipping the readings and STILL getting amazing grades. Hmm, I thought, this isn't so bad. After several weeks of figuring out that I really didn't need to apply myself to be successful, I stopped really trying. This worked all the way up until today, August 2, 2007. I had an exam and two papers due, and of course, tried to cram it all in last night. That might have worked, except my internet went out and I was hit in the back of the head by an assignment that I had forgotten about. As a result, I spent my lunch hour, sweating profusely over the immense amount of work in front of me and realizing that I had gone wrong...very wrong. 

So, as result of all of that, I have decided to stop dinking around and become a focused individual again. Yeah, I can't do anything to make up for the lack of effort that I put in these past three weeks (and quite frankly, I'm disappointed in myself for not doing my best), but I can most certainly use this experience to do better next week. I have one week of classes next week, just 4 days, and I'm going to do my best this time. I don't want to feel as though I skated through my entire summer. I don't feel as though I deserve the grades that I have, and I want to be successful because I worked hard and did my best, not because I figured out how to work the system.

Valerie [userpic]

Oregon IS Home...

July 31st, 2007 (11:22 am)
chipper

current location: Pacific University
current mood: chipper
current song: Whatever is on myi i-pod!

"Oregon Is Home" was a popular slogan among Oregon grocers many years ago, when my dad worked for Roth's IGA up in Salem. I grew up with it, but never really thought much about it. Yeah, sure. Oregon is where I live. However, those three words have been running through my head for the past several days, after a good deal of traveling around my wonderful home state.

On Friday afternoon, Brook and I embarked on our backpacking/hiking trip to the South Sister. This was such an adventure for me! I had never visited the South Sister, let alone backpack in and camp overnight. Sure, I felt some pain. Honestly, the first hike up with that 30 pound pack on my back was a little staggering. But once I settled into my pack and got into a hiking groove, it was awesome. Setting up camp was a dream, as we found a great site overlooking Moraine Lake. The only drawback to the experience was the colony of mosquitos (note: hungry mosquitos). And, even though my legs are still itchy and blotchy from the many samples that the tiny pests took, they made the experience kind of fun. I mean, what is camping without constantly swatting at blood-sucking bugs?

Anyway, hiking up the South Sister was amazing. Brook and I left camp by 6am, and made it to the top around 10am. The view was absolutely spectacular. The amazing view of Oregon mountains and forests from the top, as well as the glaciers and glacial lakes, certainly made the trek to the top well worth the effort. I would put up pictures here, but Brook put together a great slideshow with all of our pictures. Here's the link: 

http://picasaweb.google.com/breinhard/SouthSister/photo#s5092920842131452722 

In addition to our trip to visit the South Sister, Brook and I also went down to Ashland last night. His real purpose was to purchase a car, but we managed to have a lovely time walking around a bit and eating in a wonderful British place. I believe the establishment was called The Black Sheep. There we enjoyed such delicacies as Irish stew, spotted dick, (a delicious little cake with raisins and a cream-type frosting) and scones with clotted cream and jam. In addition to all of that, Ashland is surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains, and being there was very enjoyable. I had to drive home this morning at 5am (so I could be at school by 8am), and had the immense pleasure of watching the sun come up over those hills. Ahhh.

So, after having a chance to really see quite a bit of Oregon beauty these past 4 days, I've decided that I really love living here in Oregon. It's such an amazingly beautiful place! The few short days that I've spent exploring some of it's more rugged terrain have really made me want to see more. I do believe I've caught camping fever. :-)  

And, that's about it for current news. Brook and I are in the process of discussing plans for camping and frisbee golf in Roseburg this weekend, so perhaps I'll have more adventures to write about here soon. :-)

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